Hack To Start - EP 107: Esther Crawford, CEO of Olabot

Esther shares her insights on the bots and messaging space

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Tyler Copeland
Tyler CopelandMaker@tylercopeland · Host @hacktostart | Product Designer
Hey everyone! We’re back with another episode of Hack To Start! This week's guest is Esther Crawford, the CEO of Olabot, a platform that makes it fun and simple to build personal bots. With a background in Philosophy and an interest in Middle Eastern politics, Esther began to explore different online tools and communities like blogging and YouTube. Pairing this with her passion for storytelling and design, Esther began her career as a social media consultant to some large brands, before launching her own startup called Glmps. Glmps was unfortunately not as popular as it’s closest competitor Vine and Esther continued on her startup journey by diving into mobile product marketing and growth at several other startups including Coach.me. In 2015, Esther began to explore the emerging bot trend and built her own resume bot. She open sourced the project which was quickly used by hundreds of people looking to build bots of their own. Continuing to experiment with personal bots, Esther launched a platform called Olabot. They’ve since launched several more bots including the “Messina Bot” and a bot for Redfoo. She’s now part of Betawork’s bot accelerator, Botcamp. Esther’s bots have been featured in Fast Company, Lifehacker, Venture Beat and more. Throughout her nine year career as a product marketer, she’s worn several different hats, helping to define and execute on go-to-market strategies, product launches, messaging, marketing campaigns and more! Esther joins us to share her story, how she got into tech and startups, what attracted her to the bots and messaging space, what it’s been like iterating on EstherBot and building the Olabot platform, and much more! Thanks for the continued support!
Esther Crawford
Esther CrawfordMakerPro@esthercrawford · CEO, Squad
@tylercopeland Thanks for having me on the podcast today! I think it's really powerful to share and hear each other's stories – mine is proof that you don't need to take a linear path into the tech startup world. Over the years I've followed my own curiosities and made space to tinker – doing that has resulted in unexpectedly fun, interesting twists & turns in my career. There's a quote by Brené Brown that I especially love. She says: "You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. But you cannot have both." I've tried to live courageously – and I see this next step with Olabot as an embodiment of that choice. The bot space is new and exciting, but totally unproven. I revel in the challenge that presents and hope my story encourages you to explore whatever it is you're curious about!